Help, please: Setting benches

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Mar 19, 2012
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I know it's not strictly engraving, but all setters need to be able to handle a graver, at least to some degree...

Does any of you have experience with benches for stone setting? A colleague of mine asked me to help her build her new bench. She is upgrading to using a small ball vise, she already uses air-tools and a microscope but still holds her work on shellack stick against a bench pin. Given that and the fact that I've been doing some setting myself and I have been thinking of a new bench for myself toofor quite a while, I was pondering the idea of building 2 benches and be an happy craftsman with double the workspace :) my ideas are quite clear on what I like and don't like in engraving benches but stone setting presents a different challenge, what are the best setups in your own opinion? Adjustable vise height or adjustable scope stand since a small vise with jewelry work on it is always around the same height?(we have seen a couple of famous setters that work on what is basically a desk with a scope bolted on one side) shall we think of a more versatile design with a cutout and, say, a benchmate too?
I have scoured the benches thread and got some Ideas for my own new bench but I'm still a bit confused as far as stone setting goes..

Thanks everybody in advance for your help

Simone
 

Gemsetterchris

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Excuse the lousy photo.

I had an original cut out bench with a pin/benchmate & skin....once I got the scope & found the ball vice a lot easier to keep in view, so I screwed a 20mm board under the cutout area.
A lip on the front keeps any stones in ( as does the recess created ).

Seems to work for me well enough.
And the step raisers for the micro ball help a lot.
The thing is, a benchmate (which is a great tool), is fairly static which isn't great for microscope viewing while setting.

This is because with all the twisting & turning required to view the setting while working it'll keep going out of focus.
That's why you need the vise to slide around & steps to raise or lower..then It's a quick scope adjustment in seconds rather than a major task.
 

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Thanks a lot chris, where are your elbows when working? And how far out is the ball? In Italy we have small cutouts and tall benches ,I used a standard height of 36 inches and my bench is a good 4 inches short of any other bench I've seen around here, and I'd probably like mine even shorter than that. the other setter I'm building one of these for, is a good 4 inches shorter than me (I'm around 6 feet tall) so I wonder how the ergonomics are going to work out..

P.S. I use metric so I hope I haven't done gross mistakes when giving measurements in inches :)

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Brian Marshall

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The most important consideration to start with, is the location of the hook.

Upon this hook rests a lot of responsibility.

It will be the place where you will keep your exercise equipment - consisting of a pair of kneepads, a headlamp and a length of of wire or a straightened coathanger with the diamond magnet on the end.

Since I am still working on the diamond magnet patent, you will have to make do with used chewing gum or poster putty on the end of the wire for a little while longer.

Together these three tools will make your journeys under the benches much more pleasurable and productive...

Research has shown that stone setters who use these 3 tools have a 30% longer lifespan, less knee traumas and spend 50% less time in hotels with rubber rooms.


Brian


“Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do. Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do.” ― Mark Twain
 
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I actually found out the secret behind the diamond magnet, it was on an ancient scroll titled "on recuperating diamonds with any pointed tool you just licked"... Works wonders for micro setting.

Another scroll was titled " on finding the little darn things by rotating a very bright light and looking for the sparkles"

And I personally wrote a paper titled "why you should not drop a box full of .005 carat stones and what I learned from doing it"
 
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Brian Marshall

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Whilst I do pet each of my favorite tools on the bench at least once a week - I haven't the time to kiss and lick them too...

Never seen a "box" of .005 stones? Ours come in papers that are perfectly designed to spread the diamonds over 3 square meters (or yards) when you sneeze...

Brian
 

Gemsetterchris

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Brian, do you have a striplight fitted under your bench?

Anyway, my "cutout" is 37cm deep & 57cm wide ( which suits me personally) & the eyepieces of the scope are about 43cm from the bottom of the recess ( where the ball vise is ).
You'll need to figure the best bench height for the tallest worker.
As it happens my bench was abit high with the scope & couldn't be bothered to change that, so I have the micromotor pedal on an office foot rest so I can reach it ;)
An adustable stool does the rest.

The vise pretty much stays central in the recess while working as that's where the lens is located.
Elbows are always kept about halfway down my arms & somehow resting on the main bench ( never given that much thought ), though that must mean It's fairly comfortable.
 

Brian Marshall

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Seriously, Simone - go dig for images of the best setters benches (mine is not among them) - like Jura, Robert Wooding, Blaine Lewis and Alexander for a start. (others I may have missed?)

Should be either images on the web, youtube or DVDs, and maybe some photos of benches in their books or instructional materials?

Have a look at the commercial bench built to Jura's specifications at http://www.ottofrei.com/s.nl?search=Maple+JURA+Otto+Frei+Custom+Stone+Setters+Workbench+a or https://www.google.com/search?q=jur...Bw#imgrc=_&usg=__rznk3ZiasIwbF2-gkSt3O9udoYc=

Take whatever the "best" features are, add your own personal quirks (maybe alter it a bit, of course - providing easier accessibility for licking your tools) and build it!

Don't forget to add "under the bench lighting". And that all important hook and the 3 "exercise accessories" I mentioned earlier.

Post images up here when you've completed it!


Brian
 
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jakob_26

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Winstonklein

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I know it is an old thread. However Im still struggling with my bench. Does any of you guys using a good functional engraving/setting bench. Thanks.
 

Sinterklaas

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If you search this forum for setting bench you will get some more info.

I modified my standard jewelers bench to become a setters bench.

What type of engraving are you doing? Because if you engrave firearms or big objects you might be better off with a vise stand or drill press type thing. Where you work is not on a bench but rather in front of it.
If you are engraving jewelry then you can have 1 bench for both.

For stone setting I used to have the GRS bench shelf. But when you drop a stone it goes in to the 5th dimension and can't be found. Now that I have modded my bench I have my ballvise on my bench top and when I drop a stone it falls on the bench top. Hard to lose a stone, because they stay on the bench.

Below a picture of my modified bench
20210317_200040.jpg
 

DiamonDan

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If you search this forum for setting bench you will get some more info.

I modified my standard jewelers bench to become a setters bench.

What type of engraving are you doing? Because if you engrave firearms or big objects you might be better off with a vise stand or drill press type thing. Where you work is not on a bench but rather in front of it.
If you are engraving jewelry then you can have 1 bench for both.

For stone setting I used to have the GRS bench shelf. But when you drop a stone it goes in to the 5th dimension and can't be found. Now that I have modded my bench I have my ballvise on my bench top and when I drop a stone it falls on the bench top. Hard to lose a stone, because they stay on the bench.

Below a picture of my modified bench
View attachment 48244
Where did you buy your jewelers bench? Im looking for a set up like yours.
The only other thing close to what I need is Jura’s bench on ottofrei but it’s got too many cubbies and costs nearly $5000 with tax and shipping.
 

Yasin

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Oct 14, 2019
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I know it is an old thread. However Im still struggling with my bench. Does any of you guys using a good functional engraving/setting bench. Thanks.
you may want to check out blaine lewis' new bench. its adjustable height and i really enjoy using it.
 

BCan

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Montana
Hello Simone,
All of the ideas presented by other members are good ones, however I did want to mention that when I started out I was able to buy an old typewriter desk and inexpensively convert it for my early efforts. The advantage is that it was cheap, compact, and easily moved around the shop. The disadvantage is that it is somewhat 'cramped' when wanting to shuffle around under the scope. Here is the link to that old thread: https://engraverscafe.com/threads/diy-jewelers-bench.26390/#post-231003
Good luck,
B
 

Sinterklaas

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Where did you buy your jewelers bench? Im looking for a set up like yours.
The only other thing close to what I need is Jura’s bench on ottofrei but it’s got too many cubbies and costs nearly $5000 with tax and shipping.
My bench is a pretty standard jewelers bench. I brought is here in the Netherlands.
You can buy the jewelers bench that you want and modify it. That is what I did to safe on space and cost.

The thing I added to the bench is the lighter colored wood. So the sides left and right, the back side and the side space that holds the Gravermax and the micromotor. And I mounted the microscope to the bench so I dont need the big heavy foot.

I also cut a couple centimeters of each leg to lower the height of the worksurface. Now I can rest my arms on the bench. The distance between my legs and the underside of the bench is not very much. But it is enough, I dont hit the bench. I did remove the filings/dust tray.

I made the drawings of the addon in 3D using Rhino. Then I brought a sheet of multiplex wood. And had all the pieces cut to size by the hardware store. After that is was a matter of drilling the holes and screwing everything together. No measuring required. Because I had everything planned in advance.

I can share the 3dm file if you want. But it is made to my bench size.
20210316_184708.jpg
 

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